SAFA Reinstates Officials Suspended Over Match-Fixing Scandal Involving National Team
The South African FA has reinstated CEO Dennis Mumble and four other leading officials suspended over a match-fixing scandal involving the national team, saying that they were "improperly removed from office," according to Jon Herskovitz of REUTERS. SAFA "did not exonerate the group," which included Mumble, President Kirsten Nematandani and its top refereeing officials. SAFA added the committee that put them on "special leave" did not have the authority to do so. The move comes less than two weeks before South Africa hosts the African Cup of Nations finals (REUTERS, 1/6).
PUBLIC PERCEPTION: The BBC reported the exec committee also felt the officials "had been portrayed as guilty despite the fact the inquiries into match-fixing had not been completed." In a statement, SAFA said, "Given the significance of the findings of the FIFA investigators, the investigation process that follows must be procedurally fair and sound to ensure firm outcomes" (BBC, 1/4). In Johannesburg, SAFA spokesperson Dominic Chimhavi said that SAFA "is not hiding from the public" in the wake of the match-fixing scandal. Chimhavi said, "We want to allay the fears of the public. We are not sweeping this issue under the carpet" (MAIL & GUARDIAN, 1/5).